January 8, 2013
Alleged anti-Semitism of Rome team’s soccer fans to be investigated
European soccer authorities have opened disciplinary proceedings against the Rome soccer team Lazio for the alleged anti-Semitism of its fans.
The action follows alleged racist chanting and other racist and anti-Semitic behavior on the part of hardcore fans at a match with London’s Tottenham Hotspur team in Rome in November. Tottenham has many Jewish supporters who sometimes call themselves the “Yid army.”
According to a statement issued Monday by the Union of European Football Associations, "Proceedings will also be instigated against Lazio for throwing of missiles and/or fireworks by their supporters, incidents of a non-sporting nature, late team arrival at the stadium, and late handling of the team sheet.”
At the Nov. 22 match, Lazio fans chanted “Juden Tottenham” and unfurled a large banner reading “Free Palestine.” The game ended in a 0-0 draw. Lazio is known for its militant, far-right hardcore fans.
The night before the match, several Tottenham fans were injured when dozens of men wearing masks and helmets, and wielding knives and clubs, attacked them at a pub on central Rome’s popular Campo de’ Fiori.
The UEFA statement said the soccer union "will also commence proceedings against Tottenham Hotspur FC, who face charges related to crowd disturbances.” The UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body will discuss both cases on Jan. 24.